Here's the third one! Enjoy!
Episode 3: Wolf Pack
The howl of a Mutep filled the air a white, power fist slammed into its gut. Before the beast stood a stern looking man, named Orion Simmons. He was an intimidating figure, clad in white armor adorned with gold wolf emblems on his shoulders and chest. His dark skin made him hard to see within this prison, which brought an extra layer of fear to his prisoner. His prisoner was a member of the Primals; usually, he would not pay attention to lowlifes like this, but he was after a bigger target. He sighed heavily before slamming his fist into the Mutep once more.
“What do you want from me? Why am I here?” The Mutep cried out, desperately.
Orion punched him again, causing the brute to yelp, “You’re going to tell me why there has been a surge of criminal activity on this station.”
“The Primals have not been doing well,” he cried, “We’ve lost soldiers, one of our lieutenants on Orion Station was found killed, and we’ve been at war with the other major syndicates of the galaxy. We were supposed to meet here on Jotun, to see if an accord could be reached. Boss Bo-Ren was supposed to take the boys to the city of Helheim, at the Grand Plaza Facility, to meet with the other crime lords in three days.”
“That’s all I know I…” he did not finish before Orion continued to beat him, charging his fist with magic. Electricity coursed through his fists as he struck the Mutep, who continued to scream, “Wait! Hold on, boss said something about coming ready for a trap. He said that those boys from the Lost might have something up their sleeves. Word around the street was that Isabela Ferrera was mixed up in some demon worship. Her gang does these rituals, it’s real freaky, like the kind of stuff you find in horror movies. Of all the gangs, we try to stay away from them.” This was what he was looking for. He began to leave as the Mutep begged for his freedom. Orion stepped out of the dingy cell and into a brightly lit corridor where a soldier waited for him on the bench outside, “Cracked did he?”
“Of course he did, and he may have confirmed my worst fears.”
“You still haven’t quite revealed what those fears are.”
“Ever since the Holy Empire started their crusade against the occult, the galaxy had a spike in demon rituals. Jotun is no exception in this spike of demonic activity. I aim to crush this scourge before it gets out of hand, and hopefully before the Holy Empire sends a fleet our way. Last thing the UCA needs is a fight with the Holy Empire. Now, have my guests arrived?”
“Of course, my lord, they are waiting in your office, and here,” he handed Orion his great helm with a black fur plume sticking out of the top, “can’t have you charging into a demon scourge without it.” Orion donned his helm, “Well done wolf, let’s see these hunters. If what the Primal said is true then we’ll have more than just a few criminals to worry about.” The two headed back toward the door at the end of the hall.
The two entered a lavish penthouse with a large glass window to their right that overlooked the City of Aurora. The office was filled with furs, expensive couches, and four chairs ahead of an elegantly carved wooden desk that served as his work station. Orion seated himself on a large black, leather chair before three, interesting characters. The first stood with a chain sword on his left hip, and a machine pistol on his right. The man wore dark green and brown power armor with gold trim. On his back, rested a jetpack. He was dark skinned with an eyepatch over his left eye and a brilliant, gold right eye. Dreadlocks fell to his shoulder, complimented by a neatly trimmed beard. This man was Amos and his yellow eyes counted him as an Amerda, a citizen of the Planet Monarch. To add to this, his armor color identified him as a Green Knight. Amerdas were a warrior race of humans mutated by the planets harsh environment which made them the fiercest warriors in the galaxy.
The other two wore samurai-like mechanized suits. The second person was a woman in red and gold, while the third was a man, who wore a black and gold mechanized suit. The woman was a beauty with narrow eyes and a streak of purple in her long, black hair along with genetically altered purple eyes. She had a giant kanabo of steel and gold on her back as well as a plasma cannon. She held her helm, fashioned after an Oni, in her left hand. The man next to her had similar armor though he wielded only a power odachi on his back. His armor had golden dragons adorned on his chest and shoulders. He had short cropped hair and a well-groomed goatee and moustache. He had narrow eyes, characteristic of the eastern peoples of Old Earth.
The duo was known as Ichika and Kaito Fukuda, two demon hunters who were from the galactic famous Eastwood Company. Their kind were known for their demon hunting skill, and it was noted that they were rivals to the Amerdas of Monarch. Considering he was about to face demons he would need all three of their help.
“Let’s cut to the chase, all three of you fought in the Dark Wars, fighting against demons and the enemies of the UCA. As you know, the Holy Empire has declared war against a host of cultists, invading planets, and nearly breaking boundaries instituted by the peace accords to rout out heretics from the galaxy at large. This has caused a spike in cultist activity as of late. I believe a sect has arisen in Skyfall, using the criminal syndicates as a means to hide their activity. I’ve captured several criminals and most say the same thing, but today I got a few extra details. In three days, several criminal lords will meet at Grand Plaza Facility in Helheim. You’ll meet me across the street in front of Ardent Gardens.”
Ichika smiled, “And our pay?”
“Two-hundred fifty thousand upon completion of the job. Since this job may involve a demon, I’ll renegotiate a greater price if the demon we face is worth it.” Orion responded.
Kaito smiled, “That sounds like my kind of deal, now let’s hope there’s actually a demon or this will be somewhat of a letdown. I suppose we’ll see you then.” Orion simply nodded then looked at Amos. The Amerda said nothing while Ichika teased, “Don’t worry Mr. Simmons, Amos will get a lot more vocal once the fighting starts, for now we need to prepare ourselves.” She stood and touched her husband on the shoulder, “Come Kaito, let’s go. I’m anticipating this job and the pay we’ll get from it.” She winked at him, leading the other two out of Orion’s office.
Orion stood and looked out over the snow covered City of Aurora. It was pleasantly beautiful, free of the scourge of the Under Realm and he fully intended to keep it that way.
Three days later Amos stood looking at the Grand Plaza Facility, a large tower, filled with people of many races. Apart from the tower, a snow-covered garden of purple wildflowers which thrived in cold weather, decorated the city, adding splashes of color to the environment. Plenty of large, pale men and women, covered in furs passed them and occasionally a Synthoid did as well. Synthoids were a race of gray skinned humanoids, who were integrated with all manner of cybernetics and were more machine than organic. They seemed to need no protection from the cold, making them an oddity on this planet.
Amos watched, as he was sure Ichika and Kaito were enjoying the gardens with all of the wild flowers of red and yellow. “Where is our host, the action will start soon enough.” Ichika complained from behind him as she lifted a purple wildflower to her nose. He continued to focus, watching a load of armed men and women enter the facility. Some dressed in suits, others dressed like common thugs, and yet others came whooping and hollering on their bikes. The average pedestrian looked at the ruffians with surprise.
“What do you think this demon will be like, my dear? Perhaps we’ll have a challenge this time.” Said Kaito.
“I’m eager to find out. The last couple were just some minor cultists summoning a lesser demon, which, as it turns out, was no fun at all.” Amos could not see them but he was sure they were smiling. He had somewhat learned to tune out their flirting, especially right before an assignment, but he did not begrudge them their fun. It seemed to be how they decompressed before a large battle.
Just as Ichika was about to continue, Amos heard Orion behind him, “Are we ready to,” He was cut off by an explosion from the very top of the facility. He did not wait for the others, for a plan, or for backup, he just launched himself at the facility where all manner of thugs and gangsters roamed. The townspeople screamed, panicked, and ran, but the thugs pulled weapons. They began to fight each other, until they noticed the bounty hunter sprinting toward them. Now, thinking that he was the cause of the explosion, they turned their guns on him. By the time they did, he already pulled his machine pistol and shot two Mutep through the chest, then revved his chain blade. His sword sliced through a man in a suit and fedora then cut off the head of a nearby woman in a business suit. Another man in an expensive suit pulled off a shot which bounced harmlessly off of his power armor. Amos cut the man down the center, splattering blood all over his green armor.
He turned toward the door where several civilians burst out, only for them to meet their end to bullets and laser rounds. Before Amos could continue, Ichika charged past him in her mechanized suit. Inside she found a corridor of fountains on the side walls and beautiful plants lined the center. Her plasma cannon lit up and fired, melting a few Eastwood thugs of the Tiger Clan syndicate. Ashes fell as two, armored thugs opened fire to no affect. She smashed the first in the head with a sickening crunch causing him to fall limp to the floor. The second, armored thug retreated, but continued to pepper her with fire. The thug fell back towards a section where her fellow criminals laid down plasma shields. Both Amos and Ichika pressed on as her plasma cannon rang across the halls, causing the plasma shields to overload. The blast sent the thugs to the ground, allowing Amos to leap into the air and finish off the first with a stab through one thug’s chest, while another died by a burst of fire from his pistol.
The two stopped for just a second, waiting before a large series of steel doors. Once Orion and Kaito arrived, they readied themselves. Orion headed to the front of their party, “Certainly a spirited bunch, let’s try not to kill any civilians please.” Magic surged through his heavy armor, “Our target is ahead.” The magic dispersed around him as a pair of lightning wolves formed from the ground. As soon as the doors opened, they entered a grand plaza where thugs fought with each other. Bullets flew left and right across the plaza. They ascended a set of giant stairs leading to a floor with a large statue of a once legendary warrior. Thugs hid behind railings, giant pots of flowers and exotic plants, or behind the marble pillars that lined the sides of the plaza. Orion sent his lightning wolves toward the first armored thugs which shocked them and caused them to drop their weapons. Kaito pulled his odachi from off of his back and let the superheated light surround his sword. He charged the first and cut through his neck to his waist which left two smoking halves. The second was smashed by Ichika’s kanabo which sent the armored thug into the pool. Orion dashed towards a knocked over table, opening fire on the pair of Mutep, hiding behind a snack kiosk. Hand cannon rounds roared as they flew through the plaza. The Mutep did not get the chance to scream as his head exploded. He continued firing as he noticed a mother and her child hiding behind some potted plants.
Before he could give the command to protect the two, Amos was already moving with no fear of enemy fire. His armor took most of the hits, but he blasted four holes through the Mutep at the snack shop which sent blood splattering across the back wall where all of the snacks were kept. “Cursed lawmen.” A nearby woman dressed in gothic clothes with a skull tattooed on her face lifted her hand and chanted. Her eyes turned bright green as she intended to incinerate Amos and the family he was standing just in front of. He charged with his chain sword revved, dodged a panicked attempt to set him ablaze and ripped through the woman’s arm as she let out a terrifying scream.
While he and Orion charged down the left side of the plaza, Ichika and Kaito, were making short work of the thugs on the other side. A few men with hand axes attempted to bludgeon both Eastwood Company Mercenaries but their weapons were too inferior to even scratch their armor. Kaito swept his odachi through a series of four men in suits, leaving severed arms, legs and hands to flop on the floor. Ichika left a bloody mess wherever she moved as her kanabo crushed or smashed her opponents without much effort. “This is too easy darling, where are the demons I was promised?”
“Worry not love, they will come soon enough, for now let’s clear this rabble so we can have some real fun.” Shortly after, the thugs began to focus their fire on both mechanized suits, but to no effect as whatever the overshields did not catch, the plating on their armor would. Massacre became slaughter, but much to their surprise Orion and Amos were ahead of them, “My dear, I think we play with our food too much.” Kaito said as he engaged the thrusters on his armor. Orion chopped down another thug with his sword, emanating Weird magic, causing the others to hallucinate. They began to scream or laugh hysterically as Amos chopped them to bits.
Amos was covered in blood that was not his own, as he looked up, he saw Kaito thrust past him into the next lobby, which was filled with corpses, both criminals and citizens alike. Standing triumphantly above those corpses were the monsters who killed them. Elevator tubes filled the halls, taking them to higher floors. “We need to make for the highest floor which is where the meeting will have taken place. My wolves are on their way to secure the area, but for now we need to make the cultist that summoned these beasts.” Orion said as the four engaged the lesser demons who began to swarm them.
They were attacked by ugly little beast with four eyes and blades on their arms, their lower halves were serpent like. Orion jumped forward with his fist charged of lightning and slammed the ground, disintegrating four of the beasts. Two lion-like demons surrounded by green flames were engaged by Ichika and Kaito, leaving room for the horde to assault Orion and Amos. Orion began to cut down demon after demon, his Weird magic seemed ineffective. Fortunately, his weaponry proved sufficient enough for dealing with the threats. He shot through two others spreading its intestines across the floor. On his left, Amos ripped through the guts of one and cut off the head of the second. Four beasts of human size tried to surround them with claws extended, but Amos ripped the arms off of two and stabbed through the head of a second as the chain blade’s revving sent blood into the air.
Ichika dodged a strike from the lion then brought down her kanabo upon its back to crush its spine. She looked up as Kaito took a clawed attack to the chest which ripped a gash in his chest plate. He sliced the beast in two after receiving the gash as his wife teased, “You’re rusty, Kaito.” He grunted as he activated his thrusters again to support Amos and Orion. He fought with a sudden fury that made Orion fall back slightly, but Amos continued to fight with savagery that matched the mechanized suit. Together they became a vortex of destruction, leaving trails of bodies and viscera on the floor.
“We need to get moving or we’ll miss the main event.” She looked up briefly, before entering the elevator and heading up. Kaito cleared out a few of the demons clearing the route for Orion, Amos, and Ichika. Kaito fell back as another portal opened, “Sorry gents, but I have a real baddy to kill.” He shot out six grenades with equal spacing into the approaching horde causing the horde to howl in fury as shrapnel ripped them to pieces.
When he reached the top floor, he found a host of demon limbs scattered about as his allies drenched themselves in bright green demon blood. His wife’s kanabo was at work, crushing bodies and shattering bones. Orion split the head of one then put a bullet through an ogre-like demon. They were in a room of obsidian floors and black marble columns, standing before a black steel door with a pattern of a gold wolf on the front. Kaito led this time and opened the door, revealing a large platform that stood above a series of golden trimmed stairs. A woman stood at the center wearing a white business suit with black hair and a skull tattooed on her face. Five ogres held each of the crime lords in their hands, “Well, well, it seems the champion of Jotun has hired a few bounty hunters to come and kill me.” She said as the demons around the raised dais began to howl at them. “I figured a few of my friends could remove a few nuisances from my little empire and allow my Lost to take out all of these useless gangs.” She snapped her fingers and opened a portal into the Under Realm. “Finish them off! Let’s see if you hunters can take on the mighty Flesh Eater!” She said as she walked through the portal.
Her thugs howled in victory, but it was short lived as Kaito roared and sliced through the first unfortunate thug removing his head. The thug, however, grew tentacles from his head. She tried to wrap around Kaito, but he countered with a rising slash that sliced it in two. Ichika was close on her husband’s heels. The two began tearing into thugs and demons alike. Orion chose to focus on the ogres that held the crime lords. He fired, two accurate rounds at the two ogres on the left side, causing them to release Beowulf and James Grim, both of which reached for weapons to attack the other demons and defend themselves. Amos fired his machine pistol at the remaining two which freed Akiko and Bo-Ren, and now the crime lords were a part of the fight. The ogres howled in anger, but Amos silenced the first by plunging his blade into the creature’s stomach then shot a chain of five rounds into a nearby snake like creature.
As they fought, the Flesh Eater advanced towards them. It was a massive beast of obese flesh, bursting with gangly white puss, two mouths and with a fork tongue. It charged at both mechanized suits, knocking the half demon gang members aside, picking both Ichika and Kaito up by the throat then slamming them onto the ground. It roared right before vomiting acid blood onto both suits causing warning signals to pop up in their visors. From its hands it extended talons and aimed for both suits chest. Both rolled out of the way, in time for Amos to latch onto the creature’s back and to stab its neck with his chain blade. Puss and gore splattered everywhere as it grabbed Amos and tossed him across the room, shattering a nearby column. The other demons took the opportunity to crowd in around him and lash out.
While Amos recovered, Kaito cut at the Flesh Eater but it blocked its attacker and countered with a series of strikes that quickly overwhelmed him. He felt palpable fear mount as the demons magic started to overtake him. His guard was weakened, his confidence fleeting, and he knew it was an effect of the demon’s presence. It did not matter, however, he had to take it down quickly or it would kill him outright. Just as he thought this, the demon stabbed at his gut, piercing his armor and glancing across his abdomen. He screamed in pain, and just before the Flesh Eater could finish him off, Ichika slammed it on the head with her kanabo. It roared as she transitioned into a blow meant for its chest, but the demon grabbed her kanabo. “Let go of the weapon and duck!” Orion said and much to his surprise she actually let go, and ducked. Orion jumped over her with his fist charged with electricity. He slammed his fists into the beast which burned it eliciting a groan of anger from the demon. Kaito activated his thruster as he jumped, descended, and stabbed his sword through the distracted arch demon. His blade burned its heart as he raised the searing blade and left two flopping pieces.
Both Ichika and Kaito looked back to see the crime lords safe as Amos stabbed his chain sword through the last of the taller demons. A woman of the Eastwood Company, a crime lord of the Tiger Clan stepped forward, Orion identified her as Akiko Asuma, “Well, I didn’t expect that Isabela would quite summon a demon to aid her in this war, things have just gotten interesting. Though I don’t think you were here to rescue us, thank you, I don’t forget a favor even if it’s unintentional.”
“I need help chasing her down, if she has the power to summon demons then I would know her every move.” From behind her the man known as Beowulf spoke, “Believe me, we’ll have her head for this if it’s the last thing we do. My boys will be on a manhunt for all that we lost today. Now we just gotta fight through the horde back to the…” He got cut off by an explosion and the sounds of booted feet hitting the floor. They could hear gunfire and angry roars from the floors below. Orion looked at each of them, “My wolves will take care of this mess.” He opened a communicator on his wrist, “I know ya’ll don’t snitch, but I think you’ll make an exception, to catch a double-crossing witch.” They all gave an approving nod as they left, leaving the four to go to the window and watch the snow fall on the city.
Kaito put an armored arm around his wife, “And you thought we weren’t going to have a challenge.”
“Never had a doubt, this was fun darling.” She turned to Orion, “That witch is still out there I hope you’ll consider us for your next hunt. It would be a shame to miss another arch demon.”
“I didn’t intend for this to be so hazardous, but you’ve certainly earned your keep. I’ll have my secretary wire you an additional fifty thousand units for a total of three hundred, hope that covers it.”
“If I weren’t married you could be my sugar daddy.” Ichika laughed and so did Orion, “Mrs. Simmons would kill me besides,” He looked at Kaito, “I get the feeling you’ve got expensive tastes.”
“Like you wouldn’t believe.” They started laughing as Kaito turned to face Amos, “Come on, my friend, job well done, time to get paid and celebrate.” He gained a worried look as Amos flipped a glowing green object within his hands, “Something up Amos?”
“She wasn’t alone, this is an amulet of a Weird witch.” They all looked with concern and Orion finally broke the silence, “So there’s more of them?” For the first time since they started this mission, the green knight smiled, “Our hunts have only just begun.”
“Is there a way to track them?”
“I know a sorceress of Weird magic, Penelope Fay. She’ll be more than happy to help us track down the witch and company. Isabela will not get away, and her cohorts will be found, but for now, I think we’ve earned a break. Let’s go get hammered.” They all laughed as they left the carnage of the burning building behind.
Orion would return to his solemn duty, while the other three spent their night in drunken stupor till the break of dawn. Neither Ichika nor Kaito held their liquor well, and Amos had a small laugh at their expense. He relaxed knowing their next hunt would be far more interesting than the last.